Early exit for Maria Sharapova as she makes 52 unforced errors
Maria Sharapova made an incredible 52 unforced errors as she suffered a first-round exit at the hands of Monica Niculescu at the Qatar Open.
The five-times Grand Slam winner won the opening set, but then crashed to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, defeat in two hours 38 minutes against the Romanian qualifier.
Niculescu, ranked No 91 in the world, put her sliced forehand to good use and she kept her unforced error count to just 17 while she also fired 12 winners.
“I love it how I play and I like to be unique and I think my slice forehand is a weapon,” the 30-year-old said.
“And when I feel good on the court then I play relaxed, I can be good and can be dangerous.”
Sharapova, by her lofty standards, had a shocker as she produced 52 unforced errors and 11 double faults.
“I did a good job of winning the longer rallies, even though that’s not really what I wanted to get myself into,” the Russian said.
“So, physically I felt good. I just got pretty passive in the end and starting making too many errors.”
Niculescu will play either Magdalena Rybarikova or wildcard Fatma Al-Nabhani in the next round.
Former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova, seventh seed Caroline Garcia as well as Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Anna Blinkova also advanced.
Alexander Zverev overcomes sluggish start against Borna Coric to reach US Open semi-final
Zverev bounces back to reach US Open semi-final.
‘I’m thrilled to be in the semi-finals of the US Open,’ says Jennifer Brady after reaching milestone
Jennifer Brady’s incredible US Open run continues.
2020 US Open: Follow the action from Flushing Meadows with our live tennis score centre
Tennis, glorious live tennis.
Boris Becker Q&A: Novak Djokovic knows he made a mistake so it’s time to move on
Becker on Djokovic’s default from the US Open
‘He dragged himself into the mud by making a silly mistake,’ says Novak Djokovic’s former Davis Cup coach
“He will recover from this and move on,” says Obradovic.
Serena Williams on playing at French Open: ‘I’m going to have to make the best decision for my health’
Serena Williams will put her health first.
Novak Djokovic urges #NoleFam to show support to line judge at centre of US Open disqualification
“She’s done nothing wrong at all,” wrote Djokovic.
Serena Williams stays on course, Sofia Kenin sent packing, Victoria Azarenka back in quarter-finals
Serena marches on, Azarenka solid, Kenin stunned.
US Open day eight: Serena Williams’ familiar territory, a Russian reunion, Tsvetana Pironkova’s comeback
US Open day eight featured Serena, Pironkova and more.
Ashleigh Barty after pulling out of French Open: ‘It has been a difficult decision to make’
World No 1 won’t travel to France.